Thursday, April 1, 2010

We Have Not Run Out of Scary Sauce

One of the problems with the health care reform debate has been the ability of its opponents to cover the various reforms in what I call "scary sauce."  Myths, hyperbole, and extremely unlikely extensions of aspects to make the bill sound like a dramatic invasion into people's lives and the destruction of their current health care.  Slate does a nice job of clearing away some of the scary sauce:
  • There will be no chip inserted into our brains.  Good news.  For some, that would be very hard anyway due to dense skulls and microscopic brains.  (Sorry, too easy)
  • No jungle gyms.  I saw the video of Jason Mattera ambushing Al Franken.  This one example really shows how we all have confirmation bias.  The right sees it as Franken avoiding the conversation.  The left and reasonable folks in the center see the video as one of a rude person ignoring the reality that Franken points out--no jungle gyms in the act.  And no $7 billion clearly committed to the building of anything like jungle gyms.  
  • Firms will not be forces to have babies breastfed in the front office.  The language in the bill is about allowing women a short period of time to express their breast milk in private--and only for businesses over 50 people.  This is akin to providing a space and time for smoking, except breast-feeding is probably a bit better for one's health than smoking.  But I am sure that Mattera's fans might disagree.
  • No forced vaccinations.  Of course, prevention is cheaper than treatment so one could imagine the government might provide more incentives for prevention, as a way to handle costs.  
Once again, to opponents of the reform act, I say suck it up.  You lost.  Move on.  You can try to reform the reform act, but repeal is not in the cards.  It might be a winning political strategy--for primaries and perhaps for some districts, but it is not going to play that well.  But as David Frum has already noted, the Republicans seem pretty committed to finding a cliff and then drive off of it.

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